Another of these powers between God and man is the shekinah, the dwelling of God on earth. Again, another is the memra , the speaking of God, the word of God, which became so important later through the Fourth Gospel. Another is the “spirit of God,” which in the Old Testament is God in action, but now becomes a partly independent figure between the most high God, and man: the ruah Yahweh, or Adonai . Most important became the Greek meaning of the term logos. .. This unites the Jewish memra with the Greek philosophical logos. Logos in Philo is the protogˆnes huios theou, the first-born son of God. All these are developments which are pre-Christian, and prepared the Christian thinking of the logos, the word, who is the first-born son of God (Philo). These mediating beings between the most high God, and man, partly replace the immediacy of the relationship to God, as in Christianity especially in Roman Catholic Christianity the, ever more transcendent idea of God was made acceptable to the popular mind by the introduction of the saints into the practical piety. But as in Christianity the official doctrine always remained monotheistic, and the saints never were supposed to receive adoration but only veneration, so the same thing (and even more radically) was the case in late Judaism, Judaism which has one fundamental anxiety: the anxiety of relapsing into polytheism, because that was its whole history: to fight polytheism within and outside of itself.
Another world of beings between God and man arose and became powerful: the realm of the DEMONS. There are not only good angels, but also evil ones. These evil angels are not only organs of temptation and punishment under the direction of God, but they are also a realm of power against God. We can see this very well out of the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees concerning the Divine or demonic power, where he exorcizes the demons. This belief in demons permeated the daily life of that time, and filled the highest speculation of the time. It was a dualistic element, but it never became ontological dualism. Here again Judaism was able to introduce a good many ideas from Persia, among them the demonology of the Persian religion, where the demons have the same standing as the gods, where the evil god has the same ontological standing as the good god. It introduced these ideas and the New Testament is full of them but it never fell back into an ontological dualism. All these demonic powers have power only through the one God; they have no standing of their own in an ultimate sense. This comes out in the mythology of the fallen angels. The evil angels are, as is everything created, good which is the first anti-pagan dogma; but as fallen angels they are now evil angels… and therefore responsible and punishable, and are not simply creations of an anti- divine being.
Another influence on the New Testament here is the elevation of the future into a coming aeon. In the late apostolic period of Jewish history, world history was divided into an aion houtos (this aeon in which we are living) and an aeon mellon, (the coming aeon which they expected.) This aeon is valued very pessimistically, while the coming great aeon is valued ecstatically. This is not only a political idea: this goes beyond the hope of the Maccabean period, in which the Maccabees defended the Jewish people against tyranny. Also it was not a statement of the prophetic message: the prophetic message was much more historical and this- worldly, while these ideas are cosmological: the whole cosmos participates in these two aeons. The characteristic of this aeon is that it is controlled by the demonic forces, and that it has come of age. The world, even nature, is aging and fading away. One of the reasons is that man has subjected himself to the demonic forces and is disobedient against the law. In connection with these ideas, the concept of Adam’s fall, producing the universal destiny of death, is developed out of the short story of Genesis, into a system as we find it in Paul; and this fall is confirmed by every individual by his actual sin. This aeon is under a tragic fate, but in spite of the tragic fate of this aeon the individual is responsible for it.